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Army, IAF, Navy, NDRF deployed in rescue work in flood-affected areas

Following a request by the civil administration, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command has mobilised flood relief and rescue teams to assist the local administration in flood districts, an officer said.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune |
Updated: July 26, 2021 7:34:38 am
Army and NDRF teams evacuate residents from flood-affected areas on Sunday. (Express Photo)

RESPONDING TO the distress situation from heavy rainfall in the coastal districts and Western Maharashtra, the Indian Army deployed 15 teams while the Indian Air Force has mobilised its helicopters to join the rescue and relief work.

Augmenting the existing deployment of 18 teams from the 5th Battalion headquartered in Pune, eight more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were flown in from Bhubaneshwar headquartered 3rd Battalion of the response force on Friday to join rescue and relief work in Konkan and Westen Maharashtra.

The army has launched operation Varsha-21 as part of its Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations. Following a request by the civil administration, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command has mobilised flood relief and rescue teams to assist the local administration in flood districts, an officer said.

A total of 15 relief and rescue teams comprising troops from Aundh Military Station and Bombay Engineer Group based at Pune have been deployed on Thursday night and on Friday in the affected areas of Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Sangli districts. “These columns will be assisting the civil administration in the rescue of local population stranded in submerged areas till normalcy is restored,” said an officer.

Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General JS Nain said that the army stands with the people in these testing times and all assistance will be provided in the affected areas. The flood relief columns include engineering formations and medical teams for providing necessary first aid and medicines to local citizens being evacuated from the flood-affected areas, he said.

Meanwhile, following a requisition from civil authorities, the IAF on Thursday and Friday mobilised two helicopters from Mumbai for deployment to Ratnagiri. It is also positioning two Mi-17V5s and two Mi-17s for flood-relief operations. Another helicopter is standing by at Pune for any emergency requirement, defence authorities said.

The helicopters deployed in these areas conducted reconnaissance operations, emergency evacuation of stranded people and also transported NDRF personnel to Ratnagiri.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai-headquartered Western Naval Command has deployed five flood relief teams in the flood-affected areas and more teams have been kept on stand-by.

On Friday night as many as 26 teams of the NDRF were deployed in the flood-affected areas of Maharashtra. The district-wise deployment as on Friday night was Ratnagiri (6), Raigad (1), Sindhudurg (3), Satara (3), Sangli (2), Thane (2), Mumbai (2), Palghar (2), Kolhapur (3), Pune and Nagpur (1), respectively.

Each team of the NDRF comprises 45 personnel and is equipped with boats and rescue equipment. The members include engineering, paramedic, technical experts and also a dog squad if required. The configurations of these teams change as per the nature of the emergency.

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